Nothing Was Going Right! Pass the Aspirin! (repost)


How frustrating! While in the middle of a project for my dental assisting school which would meet the next day, my printer quit working.  Perhaps it needed a little cleaning or suffered a small jam. I pulled it apart and did everything I knew to do but it wouldn’t come back online. 

Okay. Fine.  My copier could be used to complete the job. With ten pages down, and fifty to go, I was moving right along.  That is, until I wasn’t moving right along any more!  It couldn’t be!   I checked the error code.  The toner cartridge was out!  Makes sense – that’s why I was shaking it all last week – to help it go further!  Now it was spent!
Well, perhaps I could use the copy function on the fax machine. You know, exasperation has a funny way of creeping up until you can feel your heart beating in your ears!  At least I could.
How could the fax also be out of toner?  I was saved by a phone call.
Not so fast, though!  Well into the call, my phone’s battery started draining abruptly!  Fumbling around for the cord so I could plug in before I lost the student on the other end, I knocked over my oversize cup of coffee!  Tethered to the wall with a short cord, I found myself out of reach of most everything.   

After slopping up the mess, I forgot I was still connected!  When I turned to go into the other room I all but choked myself!  The receptacle released the plug with a vengeance and it snapped at my head as I continued forward in a daze!   Goodness!

I shook it off and checked the time. I knew had to hurry. A student would be waiting for me at a coffee shop to do some paperwork.  One swift move and a little bit of tire-squeal ushered me into the parking stall. I hurried inside. 

All was well. I had arrived before my student with a few minutes to spare.  Coffees ordered, I began enjoying mine.  I enjoyed it right to the last drop, but no student showed up.  Of course I didn’t have my phone since it wouldn’t work apart from the electrical supply.  Fifteen more minutes passed.  I sighed a big one, and snatched up my books and purse.

Fling! Plop! Plunk! Someone was dropping all their stuff on the floor next to me.  They had some pens and a lipstick just like mine.   Oh no!  They were mine!
All the stuff was trailing from my own purse.  Of course, everyone in the shop seemed to have nothing to do but gawk at my misfortune.  My cheeks were burning.  All I wanted to do was run home!   What a waste of time.
Throwing myself right back into work at my home office, I typed like mad to get my work completed.  The harder I worked, the more it became apparent that, somehow, suddenly I had lost all my typing skills!!    Everything was coming out transposed!   From became form.  To became ot.  Three became there, and so on.
My head and neck hurt, and my coffee rumbled back up my esophagus!  I didn’t feel so well.  I wondered if there was something I could take, Aspirin for my head or something for dyspepsia?  
When I typed out the word “later” and it became “alter”, my eyes locked onto the word.  It just seemed to hang there in front of me.  With all the effect of a flashing neon-light, it hit me!  
Oh great…….   That’s what was missing…..altar! Yeah, I know, it was a different spelling, but it caught my attention nevertheless!
In all my haste, I hadn’t made any time for God.   My insulation was threadbare and so were my nerves.  I needed to go to The Altar.
Well, I don’t have to be told twice…..I made a beeline for a quiet place.
Maybe things weren’t going to be perfect, or work they way they should that day, but I had a foolproof coping method.   I needed to get my heart and these raging thoughts under control.
There is just NO substitute for the inward peace that fellowship with the Creator brings!  It’s the best Rx I can think of!

This post has been linked with Joan Davis Sharing His Beauty

and with “Tell Me a True Story.” 


Treasure Trumps Trouble (Repost)

image courtesy
Sitting in a bent chair outside of a coffee shop, nonchalantly scooping his nachos, he seemed to be lost in thought.  Rocking side to side with each shift of his weight, he hardly seemed to notice the passersby.
However, this neat, little round man with his balding round head looked up briefly as we passed. Those eyes!  They were far away and sad.  He wasn’t really looking at me, but something inside me went, “ding, ding, ding – alert!”
I didn’t look back, but I’m pretty sure I noticed a medium-sized duffle bag on wheels, with a neatly penned sign, “Please help – homeless,” sitting on top.
Could it be?  I have a knack for picking up on these things.  Still walking, I found myself scrunching up my eyebrows trying to recall a picture of what I just passed.
“Did you see that?” I asked my husband. 
“What?” he asked back.
Well, it was obvious that he noticed nothing.  Randy was already guiding me by my elbow into the coffee shop, so I didn’t want to detract from him.  We’d just come from a lively family birthday dinner, and were looking forward to a few minutes of “just us” before heading out on the drive home.
We got our coffee and I sat so I could see the door.  Randy was on the phone, so I sat watching as colorful characters strode in and out of the shop.  My mind kept going back to this fellow.  I wondered if he was still there.
As if in answer to my thoughts, in he strode and headed for the bathroom.  Was that really the same guy?  He seemed too clean to be homeless.  I looked for the duffle.  Moments later, he was nearly in front of me, standing in line for some black coffee to be added to a travel thermos.  He counted his coins.  There was a subdued exchange back and forth between him and the guy behind the counter.  He left.
Minutes later, we headed for our car.  It was parked smack in front of where the man was sitting.  From all appearances he seemed like a normal person just enjoying his food and the new daylight savings time. His sign had fallen over, and since he was so neat and clean, none would have suspected.
Scrutinizing the situation, I Instinctively grabbed one of our pre-made homeless bags from the back, all the while whispering to Randy.  He was stuck on “pause,” so I had to give him a minute to get up to speed and follow what I was doing.
Before the coffee shop, we had stopped at the store where I picked up more than I needed.  Now I knew why.  Into the bag went these extra items.  Then, between us, we managed to scrounge together $10 in cash. Since Randy was with me, I sent him over to deliver everything.
From inside the car I observed the man’s face brighten as Randy handed him the bag and money.  He pulled out an orange and grinned!  A brief conversation ensued, and then Randy got in our car. 
He was quiet.
“What’s up?” I asked
He backed the car out and put it into drive.  I looked back to see the man rummaging thru the bag.  He looked pleased.  I tried to remember what Chick booklets I had placed inside.  No matter, most of them have a printed message that shows the way to God and the Life hereafter.
Headed toward the windmills, Randy finally spoke.
“His name is David, and. . . “  Then, Randy proceeded to fill me in.
David’s story brought tears to my eyes for so many reasons.  In short, he was trying to get some work so he could get to Canada to be with his boyfriend, where he could “end this thing with someone who loved and cared about him.”
The words stung my ears.
“End this thing”….did he mean life?
Yes……He was dying of AIDS.   He expressed his feelings as if no one else on earth considered him valuable.
My mood became somber and I started praying out loud over him.  How could he NOT know that there is a God who loved him and doesn’t want him to be alone? Doesn’t he know that God considers his life precious?
How…could…he …live…here…in …this…country…and…not…know?
Suddenly I felt as if I hadn’t done enough, but we were already miles away.
Tears came, more in frustration and anger aimed at the destroyer of lives, than anything.  What if he didn’t last?  I prayed for another “Laborer of the Harvest” to be sent to him.  We usually pray with people but it didn’t work out this time.
Thoughts revolved in my head as accompanying emotions left me feeling momentarily helpless.  I did what I could do, but it seemed extremely minute in light of his need. 
We take a lot for granted.  All things being considered, our existence is really very brief.
But, this is NOT the End.  Once we step out of our bodies that is when we will acquire full and perfect knowledge of the LOVE that IS waiting for us. This is our everlasting treasure!
I have to trust that the Loving Heavenly Father will be able to reach David and meet his real need.   As for me….I continue to “go into all” my world and reach out to the people placed in my path.  The excellence of God’s power can get into a situation – any situation – even David’s.  When I do what I can do, God will do what I can’t.
There is trouble on every side, but The Treasure that’s been put inside me trumps trouble every time.
This post is linked with:
with Laura’s Play Dates With God
And Tell Me a True Story 

Where is My Blessing?

As I was praying over someone, I heard this. . . .  so I began to write…

“Lord, where IS my blessing?” 
I see you blessing other people,
. . . but where, oh where,  is my blessing?!

Then came the response:
The Blessings haven’t stopped or dried up.
They may wait for a small season
. . . While God puts the final touches on the overall outcome.
No, The Blessings haven’t gone away.
They are there, close to God’s heart
. . . Being formed and fashioned to be the very ones you need.
The Blessings ARE yet ahead of you,
And some are even with you right now. 
. . . Yet, the feeling “My blessing is delayed; I needed it yesterday.”
So wait on The Blessing, I challenge you
Trust and don’t’ draw back.  Wait on the Lord.
. . .He is preparing to “release” a custom-made blessing with
your name on it.
No, The Blessings aren’t hiding or running away.
They are found in the drawing close,
. . .away from the clamor of the noisy world, they wait. . .
Just ….for…you!
This post is linked with Jennifer at: God-Bumps and God-Incidences
with Paula’s Welcoming SpiritAnd also Linked with Jen’s Soli Deo Gloria

Instant in Season (repost)

image courtesy
A big, indistinguishable lump of green-gray clothing and pink blankets lay near the front door of Honest Automotive.  It was still early morning and the shop had not yet opened.  My husband pulled his truck to the left as I swung mine closer the entrance so I could exit with ease.  Randy sat bundling up a note along with his truck keys to poke through the drop-slot as I parked.
Immediately, all my senses went on alert!  Dirty bare feet stuck out of the mess.  My mind raced, assessing the situation.  Mentally, I began locating supplies from various places kept in the back of my truck. 
The morning chill hit my arms as I flung open the door. Brrr! I forgot my jacket. Even though the weather predicted a hot one today, the morning air was still quite cold. 
Dirt-encrusted and horribly callused, those feet had seen a lot of miles.  They looked red and cold; the crusty, thickened nails appeared infected.  As the muddled lump became clearer to me, I could see that the feet were attached to some legs in camo pants. A filthy thread-bare blanket was thrown over the upper body and head of this individual.
The bare feet stirred.  What a relief! 
Shoes!  I have shoes!  In the back of the truck!  Just last night we had loaded a bunch of things into my vehicle. I knew there was a complete homeless bag made up just for a man.   Hygiene and personal care items, socks, underwear, t-shirt, food, water – it was all there!  Grabbing the bag, I hopped out of the truck and made my way toward a man who was now sitting up but with head still drooping.  Quietly I placed the bag before him and said,
“Good Morning, here’s a little breakfast!”  Without waiting for a reply, I hurried back to the truck to see what else I could locate. By then, my husband was talking with the man. 
Scraggly hair and filthy clothing encased this dejected soul.  He could barely look  up at us through the gnarled locks.  A well-worn army backpack had been his pillow.   He sat cross-legged, looking at the ground and shaking his head as we kept bringing things to him.   He mumbled ‘thank-you’ and ‘God bless you’ over and over. 
His stomach growled in loud protest as he pawed through the contents of the bag for food. He continued to mumble his thanks, shake his head and apologize. We told him he didn’t have to apologize but that God sent us to help.  Randy asked if he had any water and how much he could carry and helped him to his feet.
Brushing back his tangled, matted hair, the man greeted us with tired blue eyes. Thirty?  Thirty-Five?  Guessing his age was hard.  Stained, broken and missing teeth told of his hardship.  He began apologizing that we had to see him like this. He and his traveling buddy had been attacked the previous evening and now the buddy was hospitalized.  The police had dumped him there last night.
His name was Carl.  He was from Arkansas. Obviously, he had been roaming around quite a while. He said he made it to Alaska in five days, but he was now two months trying to get back home.  Granny was waiting. He had a place to go.
His eyes brightened as we spoke.   He put on some shoes and stood as we asked if we could pray with him. I told him that I may never see him again in this life but that, when this life was all done, I wanted to see him in heaven! 
Hanging his head and recoiling a bit as we attempted to grab his hands for prayer, Carl objected,
“You don’t want to touch me, I’m filthy, I’m dirty!”
“As far as God is concerned, we are all filthy until we let him into our lives and sort out our mess”, was my reply. 
He allowed us to take his hands and he stood as erect as he could!  Randy began a powerful prayer pronouncing God’s love for Carl and rehearsing what God had done for us through Jesus.  Tears filled Carl’s eyes……… and mine. He squeezed our hands.  My heart pushed past the nastiness of his condition.  Randy hugged him.
No we didn’t lead him to the Lord.  Somehow, this dusty soul seemed to know.  All we did was to remind him that he needed to return to God and trust Him alone.
Work beckoned, calling us back into our world.  We had to hurry so that Randy wouldn’t be late.  In silence we drove home to pick up Randy’s work truck. Pondering God’s faithfulness, I had forgotten how cold I was.
This post is linked with Jennifer at: God-Bumps and God-Incidences
Also Linking up with Tracy at Winsome Wednesday
And at Hazel’s Tell me a true story at: